Faculty Member to Deliver ‘Last Words’ in Popular Lecture Series

Published 10.03.2014

Information Technology
Faculty & Staff
Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies News

Integrity – on the job and in one's life – will be the central theme when a Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member delivers his hypothetically parting thoughts this month in an annually anticipated campus lecture.

Jacob R. Miller, an associate professor and department head of computer information technology, is this year's presenter in the David London My Last Words Lecture Series, which asks student-nominated faculty to express their thoughts as if it was their final opportunity to share insight and offer inspiration.

The address will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium. A plaque presentation and reception will follow the lecture, which is free and open to the public.

Jacob R. Miller"One of my favorite philosophical points that I often express to my students is that no matter what you do, what decisions you make in life, you have to be happy with your choices and you have to be able to live with yourself," said Miller, who was nominated by an alumnus and two current students: Sean M. Troast, a 2013 graduate in information technology: information technology security specialist concentration; and Benjamin S. Welch and Kyle M. Jarrett, both enrolled in information technology: information assurance and security concentration.

Begun in February 2006, the My Last Words Lecture Series was renamed during 2008-09 in honor of London, an associate professor of speech communication/composition who died in May 2008.

"Dr. Miller was always knowledgeable about his subject and enthusiastic about the material," Troast said. "This inspired me and other students to work harder, and his enthusiasm led to continuous inspiration in our field. He is sometimes a tough professor because he expects more, which helped students become more self-sufficient."

"He's an incredibly talented mathematician and programmer, and his love for education knows no bounds," said Jarrett, of Danville. "He's always got an interesting story and he's always willing to share it. His guidance and advice will resonate with me for the rest of my life."

"We can always count on Dr. Miller to be a voice of reason and a valuable asset in diagnosing issues and creating plans, and to fix any problems we have," said Welch, of State College. "(He) has helped me pursue my dreams relevant to my field of study by taking time out of his busy days to talk to me for long periods of time about my options in life."

Miller graduated from Shippensburg University with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and computer science, worked for IBM’s National Service Division as an operations research analyst from 1984-90, and earned master's and doctoral degrees in mathematics from the University of Delaware. He taught mathematics and computer science at Shippensburg and worked as a consultant for IBM for a year before joining the Penn College faculty in 1997.

In 2001, he joined a nationwide group of colleagues in an eight-year effort that ultimately defined the academic discipline of information technology as it is known today. A co-author of the curriculum and accreditation standards for information technology, he recently joined the committee working to define the curriculum and accreditation standards for information assurance and cyber defense.

In addition to teaching, he works with and advises several student groups at Penn College, including the IT Living-Learning Community, the student chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery and the Information Security Association. He serves on the Lycoming County SPCA board of directors, does amateur wildlife photography and birding, and enjoys spending time in his woodworking shop making furniture for family and friends.

For more about information technology majors, call the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies at 570-327-4520.

For more about Penn College, which is celebrating its Centennial throughout 2014, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.